Ford continues to put its money where its mouth is when considering its transition to electrification. Today, Ford announced it has launched pre-production of the F-150 Lightning, the company’s all-electric version of the U.S.’ most popular pickup at the Dearborn, Michigan, assembly plant. Additionally, the company announced it will invest an additional $250 million into electric vehicle employment and production efforts.
“As the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks roll out of Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and demand soars for the all-electric truck, Ford today said it will increase investment and add jobs to boost production,” the company said in a press release earlier today. Ford has already invested $7.7 billion in Michigan in the past 5 years but plans to funnel an additional $250 million into EVs, hoping that it will provide 450 more direct jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, and the Rawsonville Components Plant.
Many of the 450 additional jobs will provide workers with the task of assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. “I am proud of Ford for committing to invest $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including this additional $250 million today to create 450 jobs in Dearborn, Ypsilanti and Sterling Heights supporting the production of the new F-150 Lightning,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said.
The investment will also help Ford reach its 80,000 unit production rate of the F-150 Lightning. Ford originally planned to produce 40,000 of the trucks every year but recently doubled its annual production rate following a massive number of pre-orders for its first all-electric pickup.
Images of the F-150 Lightning rolling off of production lines were released today. Ford plans to begin production and delivery of the F-150 Lightning in the Spring, but pre-production units are usually utilized by the automaker for several reasons. Ford could take these units to events or showrooms, or it could crash them in safety tests that will be performed within the next few months.
The demand for the F-150 Lightning seems to have surprised Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford. “We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” Ford said. “This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America.”
The truck will start at only $40,000, which is less than the average cost of a new car in the U.S., according to Kelley Blue Book. Additionally, the F-150 Lightning will offer around 300 miles of range with its optional extended battery. The truck has already accumulated over 150,000 pre-orders.
“F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It’s packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time, it’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite,” Ford’s President of the Americas and International Markets Group, Kumar Galhotra, said.